Jose Mourinho’s Behaviour At Press Conference Raises Questions


Following Jose Mourinho’s rant against Jan Vertonghen after Chelsea’s draw at Tottenham, he has continued his unusual behaviour by walking out of a press conference ahead of the club’s Champions League match. His actions raise questions about decisions he’s made since returning to Stamford Bridge.

Alan’s 2013-14 Season Diary No. 10

Jose Mourinho leaves the press conference [Photo: Alan Hill]Sun 29 September

There is something about me, watching games on TV, goals and the toilet. It happens too often to be a coincidence but what else can it be? You can almost guarantee that if I nip out for a slash, a goal is scored whilst I am away from the tele. It happened twice again today. The Norwich game was a bit boring. Went for a wee, came back and Norwich had scored the only goal of the game. Liverpool needed one more goal against Sunderland to move above Spurs into 2nd place (equal on points and +4 goal diff). They didn’t look like getting it, I go for a slash, come back – and yes they are 3-1 up.  It doesn’t seem to be quite so nailed on when I want Spurs to score. Thinking about it, Chelsea’s equaliser yesterday came when I was in the loo too. It is not as if I generally spend a lot of time in there but at my age when you gotta go, you gotta go, if you know what I mean. I know you can hit rewind but it’s not the same is it? Sadly, the days are long gone when I could booze all night and wait till closing time for a slash. Too much detail? Sorry.

Comic Cuts Behaviour at Chelsea Press Conference

Tues 1 October

Chelsea have just recorded a comprehensive 4-0 away win over Steaua Bucharest, ironically with Andre Schurrle probably man of the match. It was just what they needed after yesterday’s pre-match press conference.

Mourinho on his way. [Photo: Alan Hill]Jose Mourinho started to give what I thought was a perfect answer to a straightforward question about why he had not played Schurrle. He said,”He was not selected. It was my decision. I try to be honest all the time. Only 11 can play and 18 to be selected. I try to decide by on the pitch when they play and what they do in training. I make mistakes but I try to be honest all the time. In  the same way I try to be honest with Juan (Mata) and say he is going to play because of what he did in training and because of what he did in the last matches he played. With Kevin is the same. He is not selected because I didn’t like the match he played against Swindon (missed an open goal) and I didn’t like the way he was training”.

For me that was the perfect answer but then he blew it big time, seeming to crack under the pressure.

He said good-bye and ran away out, leaving Frank Lampard to face the music as he made an undignified exit. An official scurried to unlock the back door for him, to prevent a repeat of the embarrassment he suffered when in 2005, when he ended up tugging on a locked door handle like a cuckolded husband in a Whitehall farce. Instead he could have said something like, “now will you please ask me about the players who are playing?” He could even have got away with something like, “Having returned to my spiritual home I am finding all this negativity very disappointing, It feels very unpleasant to be harangued in this way, I expect better from the British press.”

Now he is going to bring more criticism down on his head. He may not feel it is fair but there are two significant factors here. The terms of his contract presumably require him to attend press conferences and answer questions – not just the one he likes. His employer expects him to do a good job of it. By anyone’s definition, walking out is not doing a good job of it. Secondly, upsetting the press pack will only encourage them to wind you up more and focus on your mistakes.

In five short weeks of the new season, Mourinho’s actions have invited these questions;

On his way [Photo: Alan Hill]

  • Why do you think you lost to/failed to beat so called lesser teams in the Premier League and lost your first game in Europe?
  • Why did you drop him after he missed an open goal and not even have him on the bench against Spurs? Is there any truth that you signed him to prevent Sours getting better, rather than because you planned to select him regularly for your first team?
  • You have admitted you make mistakes. To most independent observers, all last season, Lukaku looked like the new Drogba. Within days of him missing the penalty that cost Chelsea the European Super Cup, you packed him off on loan to Everton with no clause enabling you to call him back. At Everton, he is already looking like the new Drogba again. Was that a mistake?
  • Was it also a mistake when in his place you signed a formerly great striker in the twilight of his career?
  • In 2013 Lukaku got 14 goals in 21 games. Eto’o got 5 in 16. Ba got 2 in 15. Torres got 1 in 22. So was it also a mistake that you continue to play a centre forward that has got 1 goal in 22 games and has displayed an inability to control his temper under pressure to the extent he has deliberately scratched an opponent’s face on live TV?
  • You say that you are working to change the style of play at Chelsea. When previous managers tried that, the players and fans turned against them and they got the sack. Despite your long term contract, do you think your owner is going to continue to accept failing to win combined with this sort of behaviour in press interviews?

A few weeks ago, the press were laughing with you when you mocked Tottenham for failing to conduct Willian’s medical in secret. Do you realise that after doing another runner, they are laughing at you? There is a big difference.

These pics show journalists on Sky and BBC failing to hide their reactions to Mourinho’s antics, with the BBC sports reporter staging a spoof walk out, much to her colleagues’ amusement.

Can you not see that despite your wonderful record of success, probably the best of any manager in the world, if you continue in the vein that you have followed in recent weeks, it is probably all going to end in tears?

Meanwhile, for Spurs, a trip out to Russia for Thursday’s game and then back for West Ham on Sunday. We are going to need two teams.